Based on Lauren Weisberger’s bestselling novel “The Devil Wears Prada,” the 2006 movie explored the tense relationship between magazine editor Miranda Priestly, played by Meryl Streep and her newest assistant.
Weisberger based her book on her personal experiences when she worked as an assistant to Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour for 11 months.
The movie emerged as a modern classic through its collection of impossibly chic clothes, witty quips, and pointed portrayals of women in power. In time, the movie became a beacon for gender parity, as Streep occupied a delectably unapologetic position of power in a male-dominated world.
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It struck a chord with its feminist-tinged, broadly appealing story, and has endured largely thanks to the consonance between its casts.
For the first time in a very long time, there was an intersection between film and fashion. Streep’s iconic portrayal of the character seemingly confirmed decades-old stereotypes about the industry’s cutthroat and superficial nature.
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The movie was both a commercial and box office success– its eminently quotable dialogue and fresh look at the fashion world left a lasting influence on the cultural zeitgeist.
Streep Negotiated For Her Pay
Although Streep played the most iconic role in the movie, she had to fight to get paid what she thought she was worth. In an exclusive interview with Variety, Streep revealed she had to negotiate for double her pay from Fox studio’s initial offer.
The Oscar winner said that the moment she read the script, she knew that the film would be “yuge.” However, Fox’s initial offer was, “to my mind slightly, if not insulting, not perhaps reflective of my actual value to the project.”
Inspired by the knowledge of her value, Streep considered backing out of the project. “I was 55, and I had just learned, at a very late date, how to deal on my own behalf.”
Streep won the battle, and her salary was upped to $4 million. This was twice what she was initially offered. She also won assurances that the final script would include scenes that humanized the character and explored what made her tick.
“I wanted a scene where she is without her armor, the unpeeled scene in the hotel room — just to see that face without its protective glaze, to glimpse the woman in the businesswoman,” Streep concluded.
Streep’s Acting Career
Streep began her career on the New York stage in the late 1960s and appeared in several Broadway productions. She transitioned to films in the 70s and was the recipient of many prestigious awards. This included BAFTAS, Golden Globes, Academy Awards, and Emmy Awards.
As she reached her 40s, Streep continued to find challenging roles — a feat many mature actresses struggled within Hollywood. She received an Academy Award nomination for her work in several films, including two big-screen adaptations. Streep also received an Oscar nod for her work in “Music of the Heart,” which told the true story of a teacher who brought music into the lives of kids by teaching them how to play the violin.
Streep got a chance to show some of her comic skills as a villain in the political thriller “The Manchurian Candidate” She continued to explore lighthearted plays and starred in “Prime,” a romantic comedy with Uma Thurman and Bryan Greenberg.
She then played psychoanalyst Lisa Metzger, whose client fell in love with her son. She also played the inimitable magazine editor in “The Devil Wears Prada,” for which she earned Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, she has a mind-boggling net worth of $160 million.
Streep Revealed That The Movie Made Her ‘Miserable’
The three-time Oscar winner explained that she was very “depressed” playing the role of Priestly. To help her get into character, the “Kramer Vs. Kramer” star said she attempted method acting, which needed her to embody the icy character both on and off camera.
“It was horrible! I was miserable in my trailer,” Streep recollected about staying separate from the other actors.” I could hear them all rocking and laughing. I was so depressed! I said, ‘Well, it’s the price you pay for being boss!'”
“That’s the last time I ever attempted a Method thing!” the star, who was often referred to as the greatest actress of her generation, added.
Streep’s Inspiration Behind Her Voice
At the first table read before filming, the cast and crew were eager to see how Streep would approach her outsized character. “I think we all had an idea of what Miranda would sound like. It was a strident, bossy, barking voice,” a co-star said at the time.
Instead, Streep shocked everyone. “When Meryl opened her mouth and basically whispered, everybody in the room drew a collective gasp. It was so unexpected and brilliant” a co-star noted.
Streep later admitted that she got the idea for her voice from actor, Clint Eastwood. “He never, ever, ever raises his voice and everyone has to lean in to listen, and he is automatically the most powerful person in the room,” she said.